Randy Sunkett and Jay Kennedy: Cape’s front line of hospitality

July 3, 2012
Kicking back in the green Gator and wearing neon Beach Blast shirts, Cape custodians Randy Sunkett, left, and Jay Kennedy are all about hospitality. BY DAVE FREDERICK

Sports connection - I waited at the Route 1 corner in Dewey last Sunday morning where the Rudder meets Ruddertowne waiting for 450 runners in a 5K to return while dodging irate Catholics driving four-door Buicks looking to park for Mass, which is mandatory if you want to stay in the fold or flock or whatever it's called. ''Bow your head when you yell at me,” I told one driver, “and who you calling Jesus?” A tough-looking blue-collar guy (as opposed to a tri-suit poser on a thousand-dollar bike) and his wife were waiting for their kids to finish the race. First-time visitors, they thought they were in Rehoboth and were surprised when I told them Rehoboth had a boardwalk.  I knew he was a Philly guy and had probably ridden waves in a truck inner tube with long valve stem and asked where he was from. “Doylestown” was the answer. I then went Rainman, talking about Route 611, Central Bucks East and West high schools then asked, “Where did you go to high school?” “Bishop Egan,” he said. And that started something because that was my high school and what's the chance. Mark Seger is the father of six and one of four brothers who played football at Egan. He is younger than I am, but we knew many of the same people. Mark played in the USFL as a safety and I could tell he was a hard-hitting old white boy who rattled many a running back in his day, which is every day.

Randy and Jay -Two days of 100 degrees brought the heat to the Beach Blast girls' lacrosse tournament that accommodated 62 teams, each with a minimum schedule of five games.  Six fields went nonstop and all used the same horn. It easy could have been a cranky convention except it was the opposite; everyone raved about the facilities and hospitality. Codirector Courtney Vaughn, along with Sue Murphy, said, “Your custodians here have been wonderful - just so nice - it all starts with them.” Throwing out my unparalleled and unasked-for insight, I told Courtney, “Well, this community is all about the hospitality industry, but you can't fake it; generally people are just friendly and nice and want you to have a good time.” And I can honestly say that parents and players I talked to were all positive people except for a screaming dad here and there. Randy Sunkett and Jay Kennedy were on duty all Sunday in their Beach Blast neon shirts - a pair of pop pops - and how could you not like those guys?

Doc Hunt - Roger Hunt has been a trainer on the local scene for 40 years. Everyone knows him and he says everyone knows me, so how come we two guys spent part of Sunday talking to each other and no one interrupted? Roger worked two full days of the tournament only because Cape's trainer Sheryl Burris asked him. "I told her to ask somebody younger that maybe wanted the opportunity to make money and work with all these athletes,” Roger said. You know where the story goes next. The younger crowd is not about work opportunities but hourly wages and fitting in hours that don't eat up too much of their leisure time. I'm a professional hang-around sportswriter; I hate leaving a place where something is happening, but Roger and I are throwbacks. I told him "I just hope when it's time for me to step off and go home someone will tell me.” He just laughed because I set up my own punchline. And while he began to tape an athlete's ankle I told her dad, ”He's not a real trainer, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Dos docos - Sitting on a stump before Sunday's Rusty Rudder 5K minding everyone's business but mine and two young guys asked me to take their picture with an iPhone. I then took another with my camera and asked them where they were from. “Landenberg” was the answer. “Cool “ was the answer before I threw out the next question: “So are you guys professional-type people?” since the next time I see an Asian barback will be the first. “Yes, we're physicians,” they said, “general practice but not together.” I started to root for my Medicare card and asked them to waive the copay. “We're not lawyers; we're doctors,” they laughed.”No charge for conversation.”

Snippets - The brunch to celebrate the induction of Coach Tom Hickman into the Legends Stadium Ring of Honor will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, July 15, in the Cape grand ballroom that is sometimes a cafeteria. The dress code is beach casual attire (all I own) and the microphone is open, but you will be gonged if you ramble. All are invited; just don't attack the food like a pygmy on a dead elephant; there will be enough for everyone. Go on now, git!

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